CSIRO unveils bushfire wind tunnel

CSIRO unveils bushfire wind tunnel

24 November 2008

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — The CSIRO has unveiled a 25-metre long bushfire wind tunnel to improve firefighting capabilities.

The Pyrotron tunnel in Canberra will allow for researchers to conduct experiments to increase understanding of bushfire behaviour.

Over the past 40 years bushfires in Australia have destroyed more than 4 ,500 houses.

NSW Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Mark Crosweller says the Pyrotron is going to help learn more about bushfires.

“What it allows us to do is literally to get right up and close to the fuel that is burning in a forest fire,” he said.

“All of the experimentation we’ve done over many years, we’ve had to stand well back to observe the fire from some distance.

“This allows us to approach the fuels within about 300, 400 millimetres and actively observe what the fire is doing.”

Assistant Commissioner Crosweller says the experiments will build on existing bushfire behaviour research.

“The science of bushfire is still a very much evolving science, this will certainly fill in a lot of gaps,” he said.

“Fighting fire is as much an art as it is a science, so the art of firefighting and the techniques firefighters use will be greatly enhanced by the knowledge that apparatuses such as this produce.”

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